FORT MYERS — FGCU Academy, Florida Gulf Coast University’s lifelong-learning program for Southwest Floridians, is celebrating the launch of in-person classes for the first time since January 2020. Novel partnerships will bring courses of the non-virtual variety to some new and some familiar locations in Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties this fall. It’s about time, according to FGCU Academy’s director John Guerra.
“While we will still offer our amazing classes online, returning to the classroom has been our goal from day one,” said Guerra. “Learning together in a shared space is a strength of our program and something that makes the FGCU Academy a community of learners.”
For Charlotte County residents, classes return to Punta Gorda Nov. 2 at a new location – the Military Heritage Museum at 900 W. Marion Ave. Others will begin Nov. 3 at the Florida SouthWestern State College campus at 26300 Airport Road. Variety will continue to be the hallmark of programming. Courses ranging from “Apollo 14: 50th Anniversary & Review of the Apollo Program” to “Be Successful at Dating Later in Life” are among the in-person offerings in November.
“As promised, we are returning to Charlotte County in a big way. We could not be happier to partner with the Military Heritage Museum and FSW. This will be a great location for our classes and another wonderful way for the community to see what these facilities have to offer,” Guerra said.
Downtown Fort Myers will see the return of FGCU Academy Oct. 15 to The Collaboratory, 2031 Jackson St. The first class in the new space will feature Guerra offering “Tips, Tricks & Secrets of Apple’s Newest Operating System for iPhone and iPad.” Also, in Lee County, The Commons Club at The Brooks, 9930 Coconut Road in Bonita Springs, will continue with in-person courses, which began this summer.
“We had just started our course offerings in The Collaboratory when the pandemic hit. We’re excited to take full advantage of this opportunity and welcome our members to this relatively newly renovated space. And, of course, we are incredibly pleased to teach at The Brooks,” Guerra added.
In Collier County, participants can take advantage of two locations in Naples for in-person classes. Siena Lakes Senior Living Community at 2521 Orange Blossom Drive welcomes the public to its first event – “The Magnificent Shells of Florida” – Oct. 12. As the FGCU Academy awaits the winter opening of its new Naples Center, classes will begin Oct. 5 in an adjacent space at 704 Goodlette-Frank Road N. in Suite 330.
“Siena Lakes is an excellent new venue for us, and we look forward to celebrating our new Naples Center when the time comes,” Guerra said.
As announced in January, FGCU Academy went through a rebranding to strengthen its relationship with the university and its value to individuals and the community. In recognition of that effort, FGCU biology professor Lyndsay Rhodes will teach “Hallmark of Cancer: Causes to Cure” Oct. 11 in Naples and online Nov. 5. FGCU biology instructor Matthew Metcalf will present “Amphibians and Reptiles of the Peruvian Amazon” Oct. 19 in Bonita Springs and online Nov. 11. Annemarie Connor, director of the Community Autism Network at FGCU, offers “Autism Awareness and Interaction in Family and Community Contexts” Nov. 2 in Bonita Springs and Nov. 9 online. FGCU biology professor Kerry Lee shares her thoughts on “Nanotechnology: Potential Therapeutics for Treatment of Infection and Disease” in Naples Nov. 16.
To register for in-person or online courses, visit //fgcu.edu/academy.